ESPNcricinfo , IDEA Cellular announce innovative long-term collaboration

New Delhi: ESPNcricinfo and Idea Cellular have come together for an innovative long-term collaboration spanning content and advertising in India. Idea Cellular is India’s third largest mobile operator and caters to subscribers, with voice and data benefits across the country.

The collaboration is the latest phase in an established link between the two brands: IDEA Cellular has been, and continues to be, a major sponsor of all cricket tournaments in India across ESPNcricinfo’s website and mobile website. The association enables them to target passionate cricket fans with a consistent and multi-faceted presence.

ESPNcricinfo has conceived and created IDEA Dream Fields, a dedicated editorial repository within the website www.espncricinfo.com which explores the crucial issue of lack of cricket spaces in cities in India.

The initiative intends to engage fans, players, parents, and local administrators to present their concerns and issues regarding the cricket playing spaces in the cities in India and marks an attempt to raise this crucial issue at a national level. Though there has been a surge in cricket coaching academies and clinics in the cities, city kids today face reduced access to public, free playing spaces.

India’s rapid economic development and urbanization has resulted in a decreasing number of cricket playing spaces across our cities. As part of this initiative, ESPNcricinfo will travel to the prominent cricket cities in the country, speak fans, players, parents, and local administrators, and visit cricket grounds to explore the issue. IDEA Dream Fields (www.espncricinfo.com/ideadreamfields) will also feature content gathered from the public via social media.

Sambit Bal, editor, ESPNcricinfo.com, said: “Driving through Indian cities you would never know that cricket is India’s number one sport. You wouldn’t spot too many kids playing cricket because there is simply no space to play. It is not a big surprise that Indian cities are producing less and less national cricketers: playing cricket has become such an ordeal. For Indian cricket to stay strong we need to ensure apart from being cricket-watching country, India is also cricket-playing country. This initiative is a small step towards raising awareness about an issue that is vital to the future of Indian cricket.”

Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular said: “Idea cellular has always taken a lead to address the growing concerns of the society through mobile telephony. Cricket is a national craze and we have always supported the game, we do hope that through Idea Dream Fields, we can play our small role in addressing a concern that looms the game- lack of space to play it freely. With Idea Dream Fields, we would like to create more and more awareness about this issue and thereby contribute in our own way to the nation’s most loved game.”

Ramesh Kumar, senior director, ESPN digital media, India, said: “Expanding our collaboration with IDEA Cellular to create IDEA Dream Fields allows us to stay true to our duty of serving fans by providing a forum for the discussion of this important and complex topic. The nature and scope of this collaboration enables IDEA Cellular to engage fans in a comprehensive and credible manner and demonstrates ESPNcricinfo’s ability to connect brands to cricket fans at all levels of the game.”

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